“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever. . . . I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. . . . If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:16, 18, 23, NKJV).
“When you rise in the morning, do you feel your helplessness, and your need of strength from God? and do you humbly, heartily make known your wants to your heavenly Father? If so, angels mark your prayers, and if these prayers have not gone forth out of feigned lips, when you are in danger of unconsciously doing wrong, and exerting an influence which will lead others to do wrong, your guardian angel will be by your side, prompting you to a better course, choosing your words for you, and influencing your actions” (Ellen White, Messages to Young People, p. 90).
One Sabbath I was standing at the kitchen sink in our fellowship hall washing dishes after potluck. A young exchange student from Russia was drying the dishes. I knew she was not a Christian, so I silently prayed about how to take advantage of this time doing dishes together. “I have a question for you, if you don’t mind,” I said. “Sure, what is it?” she replied. “Why is it that so many people in Russia are not Christians?” I asked. “You may as well ask me why I am not a Christian,” she said with a grin. “OK,” I said in a similar lighthearted manner, “why is it that you are not a Christian?” “I simply do not have any evidence for the existence of God,” she said matter-of-factly. Then she asked, “Why is that you are a Christian?” “Because I have plenty of evidence!” I responded. She laughed and said, “OK, so what is your evidence?” I then gave her my testimony of what God had done for me.
“I have an experiment, if you are willing to try it,” I said. “I believe if you do this experiment you will find evidence for God. I would like you to spend some time for the next 30 days reading from the book of John. If you finish before the 30 days is up, just start over. I would also like you to pray to God when no one else knows. Talk to Him about things only you would know about, and ask Him for something that only You know you are asking, then see what happens.” “OK,” she said, “that sounds easy enough. It will be an interesting experiment.”
As an exchange student she was required to go wherever her host family went so that she could get a taste of the culture. Therefore, every week she came to church because that is what her host family did. Two weeks after she began the experiment, I went over to her at church and asked, “So, how’s it going with the experiment?” She was serious but pleasant as she said, “I don’t understand what is happening. I still have two weeks to go, but already I am not sure I can say there is no God anymore.” “Good for you,” I responded. “Keep going. I am sure you will find more evidence for God if you keep an open mind.” She smiled and thanked me as she left that day. She went home to Russia before the 30 days were complete, but I know she and God were getting better acquainted!
How do we abide in the presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
- We simply spend time in Bible study with an open heart and mind. Jesus is the Word (John 1:14; 14:6-9), and if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father. Also, it was the Holy Spirit who inspired the Word of God (2 Peter 1:21). So, as we read the Bible and believe its teachings and promises, we are changed into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18).
- Next, as we pray to God, opening our hearts to Him as to a Friend, the Holy Spirit draws near, our hearts are softened, and our spirit is braced for the challenges ahead. As we pray, Satan’s power over us is broken, and we are able overcome his temptations with God’s strength.
- Last, as we obey the Bible and share it with others, we are drawn closer to the heart of God, and our inner being is at peace (Matthew 11:28-30).
Bible Texts to Pray About
- 2 Peter 1:21—The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible. As we read and accept it, we abide in His presence and that of Jesus and the Father (John 14:23).
- Luke 11:11-13—We increase the power of the Holy Spirit in and around us as we pray and ask God for His presence.
- Acts 2:1-4—The Holy Spirit wants us to share what God has taught us and how He has blessed us. He wants all people everywhere to be saved.
- 1 Timothy 2:1-4—When we pray, the Holy Spirit blesses the world around us and brings people to salvation.
- Acts 5:31, 32—As we obey what God has told us to do, we increase the Holy Spirit’s presence and blessing in our lives.
- Romans 8:26—The Holy Spirit wants to help us become people of prayer. Blessings will surely follow (2 Chronicles 7:14).
- Dear Heavenly Father, create in me a hunger for Your word so that I delight to spend time with You. As I read the Bible, give me a clear understanding of Your character and Your will for my life.
- Jesus, please send the Holy Spirit into my life and make me a person of prayer. Turn me into a powerful intercessor so that many will be saved and freed from Satan’s chains of darkness.
- May my mind and heart be ever in tune with Your will. Cause me to walk in perfect obedience to Your commandments and the rest of Your Word.
- “Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee” (Ellen White, Steps to Christ, p. 70).
- Lord, we uplift our church leaders around the world. Please grant them wisdom as they make important decisions and lead Your people.
- We pray for our children. Please empower them to stand boldly for you when they encounter obstacles and pressure. Help them to make wise choices and stand for truth (Isaiah 44:3, 4).
- We pray for families whose world is filled with chaos, sorrow, and confusion.
- Lord, may a mighty revival of primitive godliness sweep Your church in the final days. May we stand for truth though the heavens fall.
- We pray for the seven names on our lists. Please show each person how much Jesus loves them.
- Local Prayer Requests:
Everyday; Jesus, Be My Everything; Day by Day (Hymn #532); Moment by Moment (Hymn #507); I Would Draw Nearer to Jesus (Hymn #310); Nearer, Still Nearer (Hymn #301); Lord, in the Morning (Hymn #39); Father, I Stretch My Hands to Thee (Hymn #486); Here I Am to Worship; Your Name; Better is One Day; Friend of God; Draw Me Close; I Love You, Lord.